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Colchester Archaeological Trust

CAT Report 1531: summary

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Archaeological excavation at Colchester Castle, Upper Castle Park, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UN: November 2019 January 2020
by Laura Pooley

Date report completed: April 2021
Location: Colchester Castle, Upper Castle Park, High Street, Colchester, Essex, CO1 1UN
Map reference(s): TL 99847 25267 (centre)
File size: 5374 kb
Project type: Excavation
Significance of the results:
Keywords: Colchester Castle

Summary. Archaeological excavations took place to the south and east of Colchester Castle, Upper Castle Park, Colchester, Essex during groundworks to install new light boxes and power cables. Colchester Castle was built in the late 11th century on the site of the Roman Temple of Claudius and most of the castle park is a Scheduled Monument (SM EX 1, HA 1002217).

Excavations largely occurred through modern turf/topsoil and layers of post-medieval/modern accumulation/make-up/levelling. These layers were probably the result of a combination of: modern gardening activities; excavations at the front of the castle in the 19th century, the 1930s and the 1970s; earth-moving and landscaping after 1892 when the site was sold to Colchester Borough for the creation of a public park; and early 18th-century landscaping of the grounds by Charles Gray of Hollytrees.

Foundations belonging to the castle forebuilding were however identified 0.2m below current ground level, along with a dense patch of demolition material likely dating to Weeley's demolition of the castle in the 1690s.